American Universities are Constitution-Free Zones

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007 3:18 pm by Neal

The insanity occurring at American universities is staggering! Here are three stories that are just unbelievable. The bottom line is that the Constitution of the United States, along with many of our laws, simply doesn’t apply on the campuses of American universities. In these bastions of liberalism, the Bill of Rights is null and void.

“Tyranny at Tufts: Breaking Promises of Free Expression, University Punishes Student Publication for Political Satire:”

BOSTON, May 11, 2007—Showing profound disregard for free speech and freedom of the press, Tufts University has found a conservative student publication guilty of harassment and creating a hostile environment for publishing political satire. Despite explicitly promising to protect controversial and offensive expression in its policies, the Tufts Committee on Student Life decided yesterday to punish the student publication The Primary Source (TPS) for printing two articles that offended African-American and Muslim students on campus. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has spearheaded the defense of TPS, is now launching a public campaign to oppose Tufts’ outrageous actions.

“We now know that Tufts’ promises of free expression are hollow,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “By punishing political expression—the type of expression at the very core of the right to free speech—Tufts has shown that, in spite of its promises, it has no regard for its students’ fundamental rights. Such hypocrisy must not go unchallenged.”

“Blacklist in the Academy:”

GLENDALE, Ariz., May 7, 2007—The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has placed a professor on forced administrative leave and has recommended that he be terminated for e-mailing a Thanksgiving message to his colleagues last November. On the day before Thanksgiving, Professor Walter Kehowski sent out the text of George Washington’s “Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1789” and a link to the webpage where he’d found it—on Pat Buchanan’s web log. After several recipients complained of being offended by the e-mail, MCCCD found Kehowski guilty of violating the district’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy and technology usage standards. Kehowski then contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.

“It simply boggles the mind that a professor could find himself facing termination simply for e-mailing the Thanksgiving address of our first president,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “This situation is an embarrassment to MCCCD and would be laughable if a professor’s most basic rights and very livelihood weren’t on the line.”

“Gun Shy:”

In the aftermath [of the Virginia Tech shootings -- ed], officials at Hamline University sought to comfort their 4,000 students. David Stern, the vice president for academic and student affairs, sent a campus-wide email offering extra counseling sessions for those who needed help coping.

Scheffler had a different opinion of how the university should react. Using the email handle “Tough Guy Scheffler,” Troy fired off his response: Counseling wouldn’t make students feel safer, he argued. They needed protection. And the best way to provide it would be for the university to lift its recently implemented prohibition against concealed weapons.

“Ironically, according to a few VA Tech forums, there are plenty of students complaining that this wouldn’t have happened if the school wouldn’t have banned their permits a few months ago,” Scheffler wrote. “I just don’t understand why leftists don’t understand that criminals don’t care about laws; that is why they’re criminals. Maybe this school will reconsider its repression of law-abiding citizens’ rights.”

After stewing over the issue for two days, Scheffler sent a second email to University President Linda Hanson, reiterating his condemnation of the concealed carry ban and launching into a flood of complaints about campus diversity initiatives, which he considered reverse discrimination.

“In fact, three out of three students just in my class that are ‘minorities’ are planning on returning to Africa and all three are getting a free education on my dollar,” Scheffler wrote with thinly veiled ire. “Please stop alienating the students who are working hard every day to pay their tuition. Maybe you can instruct your staff on sensitivity towards us ‘privileged white folk.’”

After clicking send, Scheffler didn’t think much more about his emails. He’d never felt his conservative views were welcome on campus. In classes, he was often shouted down by students—sometimes even by professors.

So Hamline officials took swift action. On April 23, Scheffler received a letter informing him he’d been placed on interim suspension. To be considered for readmittance, he’d have to pay for a psychological evaluation and undergo any treatment deemed necessary, then meet with the dean of students, who would ultimately decide whether Scheffler was fit to return to the university.

The consequences were severe. Scheffler wasn’t allowed to participate in a final group project in his course on Human Resources Management, which will have a big impact on his final grade. Even if he’s reinstated, the suspension will go on his permanent record, which could hurt the aspiring law student.

“‘Oh, he’s the crazy guy that they called the cops on.’ How am I supposed to explain that to the Bar Association?” Scheffler asks.

Liberals are crying tears of joy because, in the War Against the Individual, leftist universities are claiming victory.

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